John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 20:29, Blessed are the Blind Believers

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

//This is a curious passage of scripture. John’s Gospel had just finished relaying the story of how Jesus appeared to the Twelve, materializing before them in a locked room. But once isn’t enough; the Gospel then repeats the story eight days later, with a twist. This time, the apostle Thomas is with them, who becomes a scapegoat for a lesson Jesus wants to teach. That lesson is that while Thomas believed only after seeing Jesus, true blessing comes to those who could believe without seeing the risen Jesus.

The passage is probably an add-on, not original to the Gospel, and meant to inspire readers of the Gospel after the original witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection had all passed on. Blessed are the new believers, for they are able to believe without seeing Jesus.

Of course, this contradicts the rest of the Gospel by missing the point relayed many times earlier: that believing in Jesus is how one sees him. Yes, the Thomas story surely is an add-on by a later writer, abducting John’s spiritual Gospel for his own literal resurrection beliefs. More about this in my book about John’s Gospel.

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